GLENDALE HEIGHTS, IL – “We knew we had to have one. You know, in case the real imam can’t lead prayers,” states an anonymous member from the third row.
This worshipper echoes the sentiments of many in the congregation as the backup imam was called on to lead prayers for the first time since “the incident” in 1973.
Regular Imam Nabeel Chaudry fell to illness shortly after fajr and rumors began shortly after sunrise that the backup imam may, in fact, need to be called upon to lead the afternoon Zuhr prayer. Masjid spokesmen continued to deny these rumors up until 1:05 when the call to prayer was actually performed.
To the surprise of many in the congregation, the backup imam stepped up to the front and iqamat was initiated.
“I wasn’t around then, but I’ve heard stories,” comments Adnan Bhatt, 17, from the back row. “I heard they had to correct him 15 times and the whole congregation went to hell!”
Brothers and sisters alike are reacting with confusion and concerns. “I hope we can hear him back there because, like, the worst thing that could happen is going down in sajda and not hearing him when we have to come back up,” states one of three sisters in the congregation. “It’d be like, ‘Hello, do we get up or what?’ You know what I’m saying?”
Microphone feedback was quite prominent as the first takbir was performed. Congregation members hope that this won’t be an omen as to how the rest of this ruku will be performed.